Led by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the two forums on Oct. 8 convened international thought leaders, the SU campus and the greater community in critical conversations about how to shift global consciousness toward matters of peace.

"The Rise of Democracy in the Middle East"

The so-called “Arab Spring” has rocked the world. Centered in the Middle East, but reverberating everywhere, citizens have been rising up, demanding civil and economic rights, protesting against and overthrowing totalitarian regimes. Governments have been replaced in Egypt, Yemen, Tunisia, and Libya. There will certainly be more. The discussion will consider the lessons of this movement and the pathway forward for emerging democracies, and question what must be done to consolidate gains on a humanitarian level, while continuing to move in the direction of a more peaceful—and compassionate—existence.

"Shifting the Global Consciousness”

Our “global consciousness” is constantly changing. The ebb and flow of the issues that inform our behavior, politics, and philosophy are driven by a variety of factors, from the availability and timeliness of information to the constantly changing zeitgeists. This discussion explores the way we view ourselves in the context of this information. And if we are truly global citizens, what steps must we take to push the global consciousness towards peace and humanity?